For a few days, I have been feeling the need for something… a feeling, an idea, a sign: a spark of inspiration that would direct me to a focal point. Because yesterday was a New Moon solar eclipse, the time is ripe for beginnings and opportunities. What does one do, however, when it is unclear where to begin, or what to emphasize?
On this Silent Sunday, I introduce a mudra practice that I created to imbue one’s current perspective with a pervasive sense of the Universe’s eternal guiding powers. The mudra moves through three stages: In the first part of the pranayama meditation, the finger configuration awaits formation; at the next level, the newly formed mudra awakens the Third Eye, stimulating awareness of and connection to divine wisdom; and finally, the Heart Chakra receives and aligns the energy of Higher Consciousness with one’s earthly needs and state of mind.
The full meditation takes place in whatever seated posture allows you to establish upright alignment: The eyes are closed throughout the practice. Place your hands in your lap, palms up back of the left hand finding its natural nest in the palm of the right hand. The fingers of the left hand lie perfectly atop the fingers of the right; the thumb tips gently touch each other. Begin to breathe with full focus on the quality of your breath: deepen, steady, and fulfill each inhale and exhale. Be sure to keep the head from tilting forward as the breath relaxes you; keep the closed eyes gazing up to the Third Eye. Remain here, breathing and sensing your hand energy, for 3-5 minutes.
Now, before you move to the second part of the meditation, form an interlinked version of Gyan Mudra. The thumb tip of the right hand touches its index fingertip; the left hand also forms the midrange, but its thumb and index fingertips touch inside the open circle formed by the right-side Gyan Mudra. This “chain link” also forms a Figure 8, invoking Infinity.
Next, bring the mudra (with the last three finger of the left hand still aligned with and against the fingers of the right hand) up to the Third Eye. Rest the middle of the Figure 8 directly on the Third Eye: between the brow points, at the top of the nose bridge: the palms will face down. This will look and feel slightly different on everyone, due to individual facial features. Regardless, relax the elbows and shoulders as best you can, and bring your full awareness—and inner gaze—to the Spiritual Eye.
In this portion of the meditation, your well-established breath now takes on a count: Inhale calmly and steadily for 8-12 beats; suspend the inhale for an equal count; and exhale for the same number of beats. Continue this elongated breath with suspended inhale for another 3-5 minutes.
The final stage of the mediation infuses the Heart Chakra with the eternal divine wisdom and Universal Consciousness. Bring the mudra a couple of inches in front of the sternum, palms facing the heart center. Slowly begin to move the mudra by tiny increments—forward and backward, side to side, up and down; the idea is to truly feel the very spot where the energy of the chakra reaches out to connect with the mudra. You may sense a fullness, or an unintentional slowing of your gentle movement, or even a slight warmth. When the mudra contacts the heart energy, hold the hands there; feel the connection between your place in time and space, with the vast realm of eternal energy.
Once you have discerned the hand placement specific to you and your energy, begin another pranayama: Inhale fully through the nose, and exhale thoroughly through softly opened, rounded lips. No particular count accompanies this breath; breathe deeply and steadily, and allow your body to dictate the amount of time necessary for each inhale and exhale. Continue for 5-11 minutes.
When you have finished, you may sit quietly, open palms resting face up on your knees, eyes open or closed. You may also opt to lie down and immerse yourself in full svasana for another few minutes. In either case, free yourself from thought of instruction or intention; simply allow your being to accept and integrate this sense of exquisite centeredness.